Thursday, July 4, 2013

Born on the Fourth of July

Today is American Independence Day and the 84th birthday of my father - Happy Birthday Dad (born on the Fourth of July) - wish I could be there to help you celebrate! The word is my father will have some friends over for a little barbecue - my brother swooped in from Maine for an overnight visit earlier in the week - but he's already gone back.  My sister, who lives nearby will be over, too.

The Brave Astronaut clan will celebrate our independence (and the federal holiday) most likely poolside in the early part of the day.  LBA started asking last week when we would have our annual viewing of 1776 (about the same time I put the soundtrack CD in the car) - I'm hoping we get that in before we get to the pool.

In the evening - we will head to Annapolis, as we have done for the past several years to watch our friend march in the Independence Day Parade.  This year we are thinking of staying for the fireworks, as SoBA seems to be growing out of his fear of fireworks (as LBA did).  It is however a school / work day the next day - so that might not work out.

Hope whatever you are doing is fun and safe.  Happy Birthday America!  If you're feeling patriotic, here's a list of what [BuzzFeed thinks] your state contributes to the cause:
  1. ALABAMA: Forrest Gump - Alabama was the fictional home of Forrest Gump and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. [really, that's the best they can come up with - a fictional character? - that's just sad]
  2. ALASKA: Bald Eagles - the national bird of the US, it can be found in every state except Hawaii, but the largest population nests in Alaska.
  3. ARIZONA: The Grand Canyon - considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the 277 mile-long fissure was carved by the Colorado River.
  4. ARKANSAS: Johnny Cash - the American singer, songwriter, actor and author was born in Kingsland on February 26, 1932.
  5. CALIFORNIA: McDonald’s - the burger joint was founded when the McDonalds family opened “The Airdrome” in 1937 in Monrovia.
  6. COLORADO: Cheeseburgers - though in dispute, the trademark for the American icon was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In of Denver in 1935.
  7. CONNECTICUT: Lollipops - the term “Lolly Pop” wasn’t trademarked until 1931 by George Smith of New Haven.
  8. DELAWARE: The First State - on December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
  9. FLORIDA: NASCAR - founded by William France, Sr. in 1948, the conglomerate is headquartered in Daytona Beach.
  10. GEORGIA: Coca-Cola - headquartered in Atlanta, the original recipe was conjured up at the Eagle Drug and Chemical Company in Columbus by John Pemberton.
  11. HAWAII: Pearl Harbor - part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, the USS Arizona Memorial located at Pearl Harbor commemorates the events of Japan’s attack on December 7, 1941 and honors the 1,177 brave sailors and marines whose lives were taken.
  12. IDAHO: Potatoes - the nation’s largest producer of potatoes, accounting for more than 20% of the country’s annual crop.
  13. ILLINOIS: John Deere - the man, John Deere, was born in Vermont, but he found success by inventing the first commercially successful cast-steel plow after settling in Grand Detour. He moved the business operations to Moline for shipping purposes, and it remains headquartered there today.
  14. INDIANA: NCAA - the National Collegiate Athletic Association moved its headquarters to Indianapolis in 1999.
  15. IOWA: John Wayne - born Marion Mitchell Morrison in Winterset, the actor, director and producer was awarded the government’s two highest civilian decorations, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. [I'm sure, in part, for the number of times he was shot in the same leg in all those movies]
  16. KANSAS: White Castle - the home of the "belly bomber" was founded in Wichita in 1921, the “sliders” were priced at 5¢ a piece until the 1940s.
  17. KENTUCKY: Bourbon Whiskey - named after an area called “Old Bourbon” that is now Bourbon County. The state produces more than 90% of all the bourbon in the world, and there are currently more barrels of bourbon in the aging process than there are people within Kentucky.
  18. LOUISIANA: Mardi Gras - the annual celebrations in New Orleans have become synonymous with the city itself.
  19. MAINE: Lobster Rolls - the tasty treat have been served up since the 1970s.
  20. MARYLAND: Babe Ruth - the Sultan of Swat was born in Baltimore on February 6, 1895. [sure, that's nice, but how about Fort McHenry? the Flag? Hello?]
  21. MASSACHUSETTS: Basketball - Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball to serve as an “athletic distraction” for his rambunctious class at the Springfield YMCA. [Um, this list might suck a little too much to carry on - Minutemen? Bunker Hill, Pilgrims?]
  22. MICHIGAN: Muscle Cars - Ford and General Motors led the charge in the late 1940s and early 1950s from the “Motor City”
  23. MINNESOTA: Mall of America - Bloomington's mega-mall opened in 1992. The location boasts more than 520 stores, an indoor amusement park and an aquarium and occupies more than four million square feet.
  24. MISSISSIPPI: Elvis Presley - born in Tupelo on January 8, 1935
  25. MISSOURI: Budweiser - Adolphus Busch left Germany and settled in St. Louis in 1857. He married into the Anheuser family and started the foundation of the Anheuser-Busch Company.
  26. MONTANA: Grizzly Bears - the bears are the state animal of Montana.
  27. NEBRASKA: Kool-Aid - Edwin Perkins invented Kool-Aid in Hastings in 1927
  28. NEVADA: “All-You-Can-Eat” - Herb Macdonald came up with the idea to help promote tourism to the Las Vegas Strip in 1956.
  29. NEW HAMPSHIRE: Beer Pong - the game was invented at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH. [This might be the worse entry on the list]
  30. NEW JERSEY: Drive-In Theaters - Richard Hollingshead, Jr. created the first drive-in theater in Camden
  31. NEW MEXICO: Nuclear Weapons - the state contains the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Besides weapon research and production, this was also the site for the first nuclear detonation, Trinity.
  32. NEW YORK: Jeans - Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss invented jeans in 1873 in New York.
  33. NORTH CAROLINA: Tobacco - North Carolina accounts for more than 70% of America’s tobacco production.
  34. NORTH DAKOTA: Baked Beans - roughly 1/3 of all America’s beans are produced in North Dakota.
  35. OHIO: Cedar Point - the 364-acre amusement park on the shores of Lake Erie has been commonly referred to as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World”.
  36. OKLAHOMA: Girl Scout Cookies - the first cookie sale was held by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, OK in 1917. The American Girl magazine suggested the idea in 1922, and the rest is history. [OK, we're redeeming ourselves with a Girl Scout mention]
  37. OREGON: Nike - founded as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 at the University of Oregon. The company changed its name to honor the Greek goddess of victory. They are headquartered near Beaverton.
  38. PENNSYLVANIA: Gettysburg - the site of our Civil War’s turning point. It was the battle featuring the most casualties as the Union thwarted Confederate General Robert Lee’s invasion of the north. [you like this, unless you're from the South]
  39. RHODE ISLAND: First Independence - on May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first of the 13 colonies to declare its independence from British rule.
  40. SOUTH CAROLINA: Fireworks - the state boasts the most lenient laws to buy and display fireworks.
  41. SOUTH DAKOTA: Mount Rushmore - the carving of four 60-foot faces began in 1927 and ended in 1941.
  42. TENNESSEE: Dollywood - opened in 1961 as “Rebel Railroad”, the park was renamed “Dollywood” after Dolly Parton became a co-owner in 1986. Since the country music star came into the picture, the park has doubled in size and attendance. [ooh, a couple of steps back here]
  43. TEXAS: Longhorn - the Longhorn is one of Texas’ state animals. It is also the mascot for the University of Texas at Austin. Not surprisingly, Texas leads the US in beef production.
  44. UTAH: The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints - Joseph Smith may have founded Mormonism in Western New York, but Brigham Young led the followers to modern day Utah after Smith’s death
  45. VERMONT: Apple Pie - the tasty dessert was designated the official state pie for Vermont in 1999. Apples are also the official state fruit.
  46. VIRGINIA: George Washington - the Father of our Country was born, lived, died and now rests in Virginia.
  47. WASHINGTON: Starbucks - what began as a small coffeehouse in Seattle, is now the largest coffeehouse chain in the world with more than 20 thousand locations.
  48. WEST VIRGINIA: Mother’s Day - the modern holiday was first celebrated in Grafton, WV when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mom in 1908. It was a nationally recognized holiday by 1914.
  49. WISCONSIN: Harley-Davidson - William Harley and Arthur Davidson grew up in Milwaukee, WI. Along with Arthur’s brother, Walter, they began making their prototypes in 1901. Harley-Davidson is still churning out choppers and hogs today from their headquarters in Milwaukee.
  50. WYOMING: Yellowstone - the National Park spans almost 3.5 thousand square miles. It hosts the world’s largest free roaming Buffalo population and the fabled geyser Old Faithful.


Anna van Schurman said...

Some of these are totally lame. The NCAA? Also, NH gives us Timberlands and Velcro both of which are better than Dartmouth boys.

Jeffrey Moore said...

OK, beer pong is a stupid game, but "Dartmouth boys" aren't all bad.

Oh and it's Dartmouth College, please, NOT University.